"Tricks & Treats, Rhythms & Beats" took place on Oct. 30 - otherwise known as "Devil's Night," a night of pranks and mischief - and often trouble - for kids who've got nothing better to do. This talent showcase was an alternative for local families and kids to celebrate what's positive about the neighborhood and the people who live here.
Community Media Center (CMC) and S.T.R.O.N.G. (Systematically Training & Revitalizing Our New Generation) proudly presented a positive showcase of community talent from Baxter Neighborhood. This event was made possible through the generous underwriting and support of several Grand Rapids foundations and numerous area businesses.
"We kept hearing how helpful it would be to have some programming for families featuring local kids, here onstage at Wealthy Theatre," said WT Director Erin Wilson "So, along with S.T.R.O.N.G., we asked local foundations and businesses to help us make it happen - and they did, bigtime!"
Wilson said CMC worked with community leaders including Eddie Grover, founder of S.T.R.O.N.G., to select a night when families could most benefit from positive programming - the consensus was to choose the Oct. 30 "pre-Halloween" date sometimes referred to as "Devil's Night."
"This gives the kids something to look forward to," Eddie said. "Students will not only enjoy this night out, but they will also have the opportunity to participate in its creativity - students will help in all areas from performance to serving food. The S.T.R.O.N.G. mission is to create leaders while providing positive, constructive recreation and community service opportunities."
The event consisted of Halloween specials, talent-show performances by youth from the S.T.R.O.N.G. summer program and Baxter Community Center, an instructor from a local dance studio demonstrating "scary" breakdancing techniques, and a surprise performance by Muskegon Heights community leader and hip-hop performer, NaeInk. Several area restaurants offered to provide food for the kids and families who attended the event, at its conclusion, in front of the theatre.